Brutally Honest: Why A Watchmen Spin-Off Doesn't Matter

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Posted by No_Name_ (12593 posts) - - Show Bio
It's safe to say that when Alan Moore speaks, the comic book industry and it's fans listen. At times reluctantly, but out of respect for his genius, they listen. If you've been paying attention recently, then you probably caught some glimpse of the recent interview featuring Moore where he discusses DC Comics' desire to sell back the rights of The Watchmen to him (Alan Moore) in exchange for the secondary rights of The Watchmen and its characters. What that means is that DC wants to give Alan Moore back the rights to The Watchmen so that they can create spin-offs, video games and perhaps even a sequel with the secondary rights of the characters.  Obtaining the secondary rights of The Watchmen would mean that DC would be able to integrate characters like Rorschach into Batman continuity, for example if they really wanted to. In retrospect that would be kind of neat, but is it a good idea? As you can probably guess, Alan Moore doesn't think so. In a recent interview, he spoke out about why he no longer wants the rights to The Watchmen, and how DC Comics has "raped what [he] had thought to be a pretty decent work of art."
 == TEASER ==
 

...But of course, those people (Paul Levitz) aren’t there anymore and it was a different regime, and I had heard that the new Head of DC had announced that she (Diane Nelson) really wanted to pursue some of DC’s key properties, by which I assume she probably meant WATCHMEN.  I think she may have even mentioned it, I don’t know.  So I said to Dave (Gibbons) that yes, I had heard about this and he was saying that he knew the thing that I always wanted was the rights to WATCHMEN back.  This was said with the kind of understanding that if they gave me back the rights to WATCHMEN, then I would in return sign over the rights to secondary properties such as, oh I don’t know, Rorschach comic books, sequels, prequels, all of these things…
TV series, things like that?
Yeah, all of these things, potentially, when you think about the different mediums these could be exploited in.  Potentially endless properties that could be spun off of WATCHMEN.  Now, I stepped in and said to Dave that actually, no I had grown so sick of WATCHMEN over these last 18 months that I didn’t want the rights back anymore.  If they had offered them back to me back when I wanted them, ten, twenty years ago, then maybe this could have all been resolved in a friendly fashion.  But no, I wasn’t going to take the rights back at this stage after they had pretty much, in my opinion, raped what I had thought to be a pretty decent work of art.  I didn’t want them throwing me back the spent and exhausted carcass of my work and certainly not under terms that would apparently allow them to go on producing witless sequels and prequels ad infinitum.

So the question is whether or not by allowing DC Comics to use The Watchmen characters, elements from the original story, integration of The Watchmen into the DCU, creation of spin-offs, cartoons, video games- you get the idea; would that be exploiting the original Alan Moore book? More importantly, does it take away from the original story?
 
I really don't think so. To be honest, no matter what DC does with the secondary Watchmen properties, no matter how many spin-offs, video games, cartoons they make using The Watchmen characters; nothing will take away from the brilliance of the original story. It doesn't matter what happens because I know, and all of you know, that if there ever is a Watchmen video game, Alan Moore would have absolutely nothing to do with it. That being said, who cares if The Watchmen becomes a video game or an animated cartoon? Nothing will take away from the original graphic novel. 
What do you guys think? Do you agree with Alan Moore that spin-offs of Watchmen would exploit the original story and it's characters, or do you feel that the original story is so strong, that it's untouchable? Also, does DC Comics want to exploit the story?
#1 Posted by batmanboy11 (198 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it should remain untouchable. It should stay what it was. No sequel or spin-off should be made, and the characters should only exsist in that book.  
#2 Posted by Koz (129 posts) - - Show Bio

I think nothing is as good as the Original. Because in my mind in anyhtinig that has been done over and over, it is not like that first time where you were like THATS AWESOME!! When you do spin- offs or other teams it may be cool but not the same.
#3 Posted by Duncan (11445 posts) - - Show Bio

Its fine as it is. Leave it at that.

#4 Posted by turoksonofstone (12901 posts) - - Show Bio

 DC Comics wants to exploit the story. You can't blame them.
New Watchmen stuff would be cool. Rorschach in Batman! lol, Awesome.
My heart is with Alan Moore though. DC mistreating him robbed us of some great Alan Moore Superhero stories I bet...

#5 Posted by rlmay3 (254 posts) - - Show Bio

I really don't know what they could do with it at this point. It's pretty much a self-contained work with a solid beginning and end. 
 
It would be pretty obvious to fans that any new related properties would just be beating a dead horse...
 
Not to mention, nothing else could compare to the original.

#6 Posted by Donovan Montgomery (5490 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm must be confused, who owns the rights to The Watchmen right now? 
If it's DC then why can't they just do whatever now? 
Anyway, to the question, the only real down fall to doing all this stuff to the Watchmen is future generations of comic fans who have yet to read the original will have no/less appreciation for it when they do.
#7 Posted by Aronmorales (9304 posts) - - Show Bio

The Watchmen should stand where and as it is.
#8 Posted by BenB (21 posts) - - Show Bio

Alan Moore is so full of it. He created the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen out of other peoples ideas, but God forbid someone do the same with his creation. Granted if DC had the ability to make a Watchmen 2 they would and it most likely would not be as good as the original, but that doesn't mean it would be bad. What if someone took NiteOwl and made something great with it? Moore did wonderful things for comics twenty years ago. He helped to redefine it into an accepted art, but he needs to get over himself. Here's something to ponder, what if someone did write Watchmen 2 and it WAS better than the original?

#9 Edited by Nick-SV(ril) (562 posts) - - Show Bio

What Babs said. There are tons of video games or shows/cartoons that have come out based on stuff that I love, and those just did nothing on me. I wont stop carrying for them because some might be taking advantage of. But said this, I wouldn't like them to resurrect something like that. Just leave it to rest as a great piece.

#10 Posted by Glak (52 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Watchmen as it is, don't think adding anything more is gonna help it

#11 Posted by jordama (4106 posts) - - Show Bio

completely agree with you.  
 
You make an art and share it with the world, if you didn't want others to be able to touch it, keep it at home in your closet.
#12 Posted by Donovan Montgomery (5490 posts) - - Show Bio

...  Rorschach can't be in Batman unless Dr. Manhaten re-assembles him....
#13 Posted by ComicMan24 (147046 posts) - - Show Bio

I pretty much agree with  the article.

#14 Posted by Mr. Dead Pool (2625 posts) - - Show Bio

@Donovan Montgomery said:

"...  Rorschach can't be in Batman unless Dr. Manhaten re-assembles him.... "


 

Or they make a new Rorschach like have a different guy behind the mask but make him nearly identical to the real Rorschach atleast that way the real Rorschach's rep would be safe if they do something stupid with the new Rorschach.
#15 Posted by Emerald Dragonfly (206 posts) - - Show Bio

NO. NEVER. NEVER TRY IT, DIDIO. I SWEAR THAT I'LL KILL HIM IF HE'LL TOUCH "THE WATCHMEN". STUPID IDIOTS, IT'S THE BEST COMIC BOOK EVER, AND THEY WANT TO-- NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! 

#16 Posted by chalkshark (1195 posts) - - Show Bio

Watchmen is done. There's nothing left to do with it. The story is told. There's nowhere left to go with those characters. It's not like they're particularly original characters. They're all versions of pre-existing characters. What made the Watchmen cool was Alan Moore. Alan Moore has moved on. Everyone else should, too. DC , literally, has a thousand other characters, the bulk of whom have never had a single interesting story ever told featuring them. Let some writer do something meaningful, progressive or provocative with one of those characters, or, god forbid, create something new, rather than cough up  some pointless re-examination of Moore's characters.

#17 Posted by Dr. Maxwell (661 posts) - - Show Bio

No this doesnt really fly with me, it'd be like someone else writing Transmetropolitan or Sandman, sure Daniel makes cameos in other series and what not, but it isn't the same as Neil penning it. Not saying the others that have do a bad job, it would just feel wierd.

#18 Posted by GraveSp (314 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't mind a spinoff or sequel or prequel but I don't really want them in mainstream comics.  Maybe an issue where Batman goes to that universe but not in the main comic.  

#19 Posted by joshmightbe (24757 posts) - - Show Bio

Let me start by saying I'm a huge Moore fan and he should be given all credit due to him. That being said, it would make no difference in my mind to the quality of the original to have prequels and sequels any more than the awful star wars prequels did to the original trilogy. I personally believe that Rorschach's story is done, he had one of the best deaths in comics and should be left alone and Doctor Manhattan would be completely redundant in the mainstream DC universe. Besides all that Rorschach is already in the DC universe he's called the question, considering the fact that every single main character in watchmen is based on other existing characters that DC refused to let Moore use. So I don't really care if DC uses watchmen characters I'm just pointing out that it would be pointless and redundant

#20 Posted by ForbushBug (487 posts) - - Show Bio

How has DC raped the Watchmen? By presenting it as a highly respected pinnacle of the genre? Releasing it in well crafted collection that treat it as a work of art? It's been a dry period for Moore recently so I guess he has to go back to his "crazy man on a soapbox" shtick for attention. Shaddup and gimme a Jonni Future series.

#21 Posted by Decept-O (7294 posts) - - Show Bio
 
 
 Alan Moore has had nothing but contention regarding how THE WATCHMEN property has been handled.  I am tired of hearing about it by everyone involved.  
 
Also, all in all, I echo these sentiments:
 
 
@Aronmorales
said:
"The Watchmen should stand where and as it is. "

@Duncan said:
"Its fine as it is. Leave it at that. " 
  
 


#22 Posted by Tmul501 (600 posts) - - Show Bio

Why can we just leave things self-contained?

#23 Posted by Avengers_4everXX (139 posts) - - Show Bio

okay first i'd like to say, who do you guys think you are dissing on ALAN MOORE? seriously? do you honestly think you know more about comics than him? because if you do, i'd love to see you prove it by writing something as amazing and successful as Watchmen or V for Vendetta. And honestly, my worry is that if DC gets the rights to the secondary characters, they'll turn Watchmen into what the Avengers has become for Marvel, with way too many titles running around that aren't even very good, trying to oversell the characters, and just making a mockery of what the Watchmen was about. I think we need to let the new generations discover Watchmen on their own, for what it was, without any preconceptions created by some mediocre sequel.

#24 Posted by pinchpaker29 (465 posts) - - Show Bio

a watchmen video game spin off would be nice... especially if they make it Arkham Asylum style...

#25 Posted by Icon (2109 posts) - - Show Bio
@BenB said:
" Alan Moore is so full of it. He created the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen out of other peoples ideas, but God forbid someone do the same with his creation. Granted if DC had the ability to make a Watchmen 2 they would and it most likely would not be as good as the original, but that doesn't mean it would be bad. What if someone took NiteOwl and made something great with it? Moore did wonderful things for comics twenty years ago. He helped to redefine it into an accepted art, but he needs to get over himself. Here's something to ponder, what if someone did write Watchmen 2 and it WAS better than the original? "
Agreed
#26 Edited by antiterra (165 posts) - - Show Bio
@pinchpaker29 said:

" a watchmen video game spin off would be nice... especially if they make it Arkham Asylum style... "

There already is a Watchmen video game and... well, let's just say some things are best left forgotten.
#27 Posted by VicDiGital (6 posts) - - Show Bio

My starting point: I devoured Watchmen when it came out in monthly installments in the mid-80's, and have several copies of the graphic novel, including the Absolute edition.  I am a big fan of Watchmen and Alan Moore. 
 
That said, I'd be totally in favor of seeing the story spun off.   Spin offs or continuations can either be disasters or masterpieces.  It was thought of as heresy that anyone attempt a sequel to Ridley Scott's "Alien".  James Cameron's "Aliens" was not only worthy, but in my opinion a far superior film.  However, "Alien3" and all subsequent films have been atrocities.  I (and most of the universe) choose to simply ignore anything past "Aliens".   
 
Sometimes original creators do sequels to masterpieces and those turn out to be train wrecks.  Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns?  Masterpiece.  Frank Miller's Dark Knight Strikes Again?  One of the most vile pieces of crap I've ever read.
 
And as many have pointed out, Alan Moore himself gained his huge fame FIRST on the backs of re-imagining or spinning off previously created characters.  Moore's Swamp Thing was a masterpiece and not only changed and redefined the character, it did so while maintaining 100% of the previous history.  And then there's Miracleman.  Another masterpiece, also built from someone else's work, also remaining respectful of the source material.  If not for Swamp Thing and Miracleman, there would never have been a Watchmen.   
 
And speaking of Miracleman, when Moore left the comic, another writer stepped in to continue the series.  At first, I was mortally offended.  How could anyone else do justice to Alan Moore's work?  But the new guy actually crafted a fantastic story and before long, I was looking forward to each issue as much as any Alan Moore penned one.  That new guy turned out to be Neil Gaiman who has done well for himself, I hear.   
 
Comics are comics.   Some will be great and some crap.  Watchmen will always be a masterpiece of the first order, regardless of whatever other stories are told in that world.  

#28 Posted by avantegardener (7 posts) - - Show Bio
#29 Posted by Chibi-Iroh (381 posts) - - Show Bio
@BenB:  Its not the same thing and it wont be better than the original.
#30 Posted by Mr.Q (1020 posts) - - Show Bio
@BenB: I'll agree. Alan Moore did some fantastic work and earned his spot in history but I'm tired of people stroking his ego. You made an EXCELLENT point with the L.E.G. How is it different? I don't really see a problem with an expanded Watchmen universe thats how we got what we have now. There digging up old comic characters like the shadow, Green Hornet, Green Lama and several others. So why not Watchmen? I say go for it. Someone will do it eventually any way.
#31 Posted by Gambit1024 (9843 posts) - - Show Bio

Alan Moore is epic. I loved everything I've read from him. 
 
But I gotta say, I'm kinda surprised at his stance. I don't agree or disagree with him, but I personally would  be honored if they wanted to make video games, TV shows, etc. about characters I created. The only thing I wouldn't be cool with is a direct sequel to the original book, but if you wanna, say make a prequel about the Minute Men, or do a TV series that stars the characters before the book takes place, then that'd be pretty epic.  
 
I do understand that he doesn't want his characters to be exploited, but he should've thought about that before he released the comic. If you want your ideas to stay yours, then keep them to yourself. 

#32 Posted by Dark Walker (477 posts) - - Show Bio

I've never read any of the Watchmen comics or trade :-O I know eh lol but I did see the movie and liked it. It should stand alone, and leave it out of the DC Universe, as cool as it would be to have a few in it.  How would they fit with the already established Watchmen universe?

#33 Edited by johnny_spam (2020 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't care about a Watchmen sequel/prequel it makes no difference to me either way but I have to say it is clear after reading the complete interview from Moore he is coming across as a bitter angry paranoid old man somehow every contact with every person he talked to was orchestrated by DC to hurt him or manipulate him they are bumbling in one of his sentences to masterminds in another and he refuses to read comics and hasn't from the last ten years yet judges them all he is just angry. 
 
He actually refuses to speak to anyone from the industry in fear that they are sent by his enemies from DC he asked David Finch to thank him for the money off V for Vendetta when it was made in a movie when he was a co creator and asked the same of Dave Gibbons.

#34 Posted by TheMess1428 (2176 posts) - - Show Bio

I think they could come up with some form of a compromise.

#35 Posted by Akalie (25 posts) - - Show Bio
@avantegardener said:
"  
  Hmmm "
Hah Was thinking the exact same thing. If anything like that? Yes. :)
#36 Posted by Jordanstine (895 posts) - - Show Bio
@Donovan Montgomery said:
"...  Rorschach can't be in Batman unless Dr. Manhaten re-assembles him.... "

All DC's got to do is put together another "Crisis" or "Infinite Earths" storyline and retcon all the past events... then wala! 
 
Everything is as good as new with no further explanations why.
#37 Posted by Giantblue (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Considering the crappy tie ins to the movie adaptation, this is nothing more than a cash grab.
 Have you played the video game UGH. There's a reason Salinger never sold his book rights.

#38 Posted by ckal (1097 posts) - - Show Bio

Of course if DC were to make any kind of spin-off/sequel/prequel it would be terrible and unsuccessful.
 
Just leave Watchmen be, I thought the movie was great and did justice to the graphic novel pretty well. Although, I must say, as great as the graphic novel is, I kind  of like the ending in the movie better than the giant squid in the graphic novel.

#39 Edited by Piranesi (13 posts) - - Show Bio

Wasn't the whole point that Moore created the ultimate "bad" superheroes - this was a comment against how they can become a nationalistic weapon (an alien waving the flag) or commercialised as kids toys, lunch boxes and cartoons. The sense that the art and literature of the comic was in decline, with artists and writers losing their voices churning out copy to please the mass audience. Holding any one up as "super" or a "hero" just reinforces that we are all flawed, no one is saved. 
 
That the movie could retain the cynicism and biting sarcasm at the industry itself and state of the world (or Moore's mindset at the time) was going to be a huge task. Ultimately, it has given the original a higher status - Hollywood tried and failed - we told you it was unfilmable. Alan does like getting on his high horse but I think he likes being a little bit grumpy, he's at least earned that right.
#40 Posted by Nokturnum (12 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jordanstine said:
" @Donovan Montgomery said:
"...  Rorschach can't be in Batman unless Dr. Manhaten re-assembles him.... "

All DC's got to do is put together another "Crisis" or "Infinite Earths" storyline and retcon all the past events... then wala!  Everything is as good as new with no further explanations why. "
Damn, how I hate when stuff like that happen
#41 Posted by HaHaManHV (229 posts) - - Show Bio

I think I'm with Moore just because it's such a low thing to do on DC's part, to make the movie, do what they want with all that stuff, and THEN give it to him, when they just did all the things they ever wanted to do with those rights and that he never wanted. It is like handing him back the shell of what he wanted, so I hope he doesn't do it because that'd be a bit messed up. Plus, I sooooo don't want Watchmen integrated with DC, that'd just suck so much.

#42 Posted by Hector (446 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think DC has "raped" Watchmen but I agree that Watchmen should be left untouched.

#43 Posted by peelermcsweepy (1 posts) - - Show Bio
#44 Posted by johnny_spam (2020 posts) - - Show Bio

What's funny is the trends in Watchmen were not that innovative the novel Super-Folks covered quite allot of these trends 1977 years before Alan and may have inspired him and Alan covered the themes of a dark superhero much better way in Miracleman years before. All this over one series. 

#45 Posted by Olivaw (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Nah, I don't agree.
 
Watchmen is, in essence and spirit, the Citizen Kane of the comic book world. It is a singular work of art that can only work in the medium it was designed for, and deconstructs it in such a way that it will be regarded as brilliant for as long as there are comic books.
 
Allowing anyone else to touch the characters, either they wouldn't get what made the story great in the first place and would just turn Rorschach into another Batman/Punisher, or they would tell an unnecessary story. We know everything we need to know about all the characters in Watchmen, anything more is just padding. It's a self-contained story, and as a result I don't think the characters wouldn't work in a long-form sort of way like Superman or Batman.
 
Besides, Alan Moore has been exploited quite a few times in the past. You can't blame him for not wanting anything to do with anyone in DC anymore.

#46 Posted by 614azrael (10306 posts) - - Show Bio
@johnny spam:
id have to agree withk u, infact id have to be colder an say he is being straight up childish. "they raped the series" any 1 who uses this offensive foul concept as a phrase in there argument either has litle glory to deliver or had greatness an have lost it. That an they want to do more, if one wishes to broaden ur idea why not discuss things an c what can b done? Maybe it would be trash an rele watchmen is a stand alone deal but its beter to listen then freak out. 
 
As for it being continued into DC this would be moronic. Dr Manhatans soap opera dramatics conflict with supermans bravado ya thatl b fun. Raurshack is magicaly revived an joins Batman o good a Jason Todd event again. It has litle to offer if tooken out of its context. 
 
It was great now leav it b let not the sleeping dogs masters have rabies
#47 Posted by Mr_Wayne69 (174 posts) - - Show Bio

I understand Moore's position on the situation and I also understand business (supply and demand). 
 
DC screwed Moore in the past and that was clearly wrong. As a fan I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested in something stemming from the characters of Watchmen. That's part of why fans love comics in these times. The opportunity to see their favorite characters come to life or extended past their beginnings.
 
Now that doesn't mean that I'm siding with DC/ the business side of things. If someone screwed me out of my creations I'd probably react the same way. In all honesty if DC announced a Watchmen tale under the proper creative team (Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Frank Quietly, Ivan Reis) I'd be all over it.  
 
We live in a world of business and if the demand is for more Watchmen why not supply it? The same fans screaming "no more Watchmen" are the same fans that packed the theater and bought reprinted copies of the book while suggesting it to friends to read.  
 
So in the end if there's no more Watchmen material being produced, it's a commendable feat for Moore. But if there is new material made I'd hope that DC puts out the best in quality for the fans and brilliance its past work in mind. Remember, Bob Kane screwed Bill Finger out of credit and rights to DC's most successful property of all time: Batman (how the term "Fingered" stemmed from describes being screwed in the comics industry). We don't see anyone boycotting all-things Batman now do we?

#48 Posted by TheHT (72 posts) - - Show Bio

No freaking way. The extra stuff is all at the end of the chapters, and enough of it. It's just fine the way it is.

#49 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (2137 posts) - - Show Bio

It's like, sure, the end of Watchmen is epic, and clearly ties every loose end together in a neat knot. I'd be lying if I said I'd read a sequel to Watchmen, because there's no way they can do it without it seeming forced. 
However, one-shots about each character would be awesome. You know and I know that just about every Watchmen fan would be all over a one-shot about Rorschach in his glory days. It'd sell like hotcakes, and would tarnish the source material or anything as long as you had a good author/artist team on it.

#50 Posted by Mr_Wayne69 (174 posts) - - Show Bio
@BenB said:

"Alan Moore is so full of it. He created the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen out of other peoples ideas, but God forbid someone do the same with his creation. Granted if DC had the ability to make a Watchmen 2 they would and it most likely would not be as good as the original, but that doesn't mean it would be bad. What if someone took NiteOwl and made something great with it? Moore did wonderful things for comics twenty years ago. He helped to redefine it into an accepted art, but he needs to get over himself. Here's something to ponder, what if someone did write Watchmen 2 and it WAS better than the original?"

 
It's funny because he did the same thing with Watchmen as well. They're based on Silver Age DC characters and Charlton Comics characters. Such irony Mr. Moore.

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